Alcaraz and Sabalenka’s birthdays put Madrid into Cake-gate

In Madrid, a different size of birthday cake has created some anger among the fans and in the female players’ ranks.

Alcaraz Madrid's Cake (AI / Reuters / Panoramic) Alcaraz Madrid’s Cake (AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

It’s “cake-gate” o’clock in Madrid. On Friday, some tennis fans and some players alike had a go at the tournament for what they saw as a striking difference in treatment between Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka.

The common points between the two? They had their birthday. And? They are currently both No. 2 in the world, have one Grand Slam title to their names and qualified for the finals in Madrid. And? And the tournament threw an on-court celebration for Alcaraz with a pretty impressive cake while giving Sabalenka a cake that wasn’t the same size. For some, that had a sour taste.

On a Tour where the battle is still on, on many levels, for equality of treatments, the difference in the size of the cakes started to create such a bad buzz that Feliciano Lopez, the tournament director, had to intervene.

Alcaraz being the new Spanish tennis sensation and playing in Spain could be a reason enough for the tournament picking that now infamous big cake.

But it says a lot about the tension in the ranks right now that it was enough to create such a bad buzz.

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